Uncluttered Time: 16 March

Hospitality

When Father Apollo heard the sound of singing, he greeted us according to the custom which all the breth­ren follow. When he saw us, he first prostrated, lying full length on the ground; then getting up he kissed us, and having brought us in, prayed for us; then, after washing our feet with his own hands, he invited us to partake of some refreshment. He does this with all the brethren who come to visit him

Reading: Luke 10:30-37

“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Thought

When Mother Teresa was asked why she bothered to take in people on the verge of death, she responded, "Once upon a time, a good man returned a fish to the water. People told him: ‘So what? You save one fish. Tomorrow the sea will drop hundreds onto the shore. What difference did you make?’ The man answered: ‘For that single fish, I made all the difference in the world. I saved him.’"

The ancient Christian ways enshrines hospitality as a pri­mary Christian duty because the world is full of stranded fish, people who ache for the smallest sign that someone cares enough to be inconve­nienced for their sakes. It helped if we remember that what such people really need from us has more to do with compassion than solutions to their many problems. We might then experienced less guilty frustration at our inability to "help" and more inclination to simply be there, however briefly, as others struggle on with difficult lives.

Action

Today I will try and offer hospitality in whatever way seems appropriate, and be aware of any resistance I might have to opening my life up this way.

Prayer

Lord, may I be merciful and you have been merciful to me.